Matt Ryan is a fifth year pro. If he's lucky, 1/3 of his career is finished. And for the first 4 years of that career, his blindside was a nagging, persistent cause for concern. That is no longer the case. Sam Baker held his own and more against the New York Football Giants.
It’s not that Sam Baker (+2.6) will make the Pro Bowl (oh, hang on a second, in this media bubble he just might) but after the debacle of previous seasons, where apparently he wasn’t fully fit, this is a huge improvement. Going against Osi Umenyiora, Matthias Kiwanuka and Jason Pierre-Paul he surrendered only a single hurry, wasn’t flagged and held his own in the running game.
Baker wasn't competing against amateurs. He was facing arguably the best pass rush in the game. Even so, he kicked butt and took names. If I met Baker today, I'd slow clap him like whoa.
As Falcons fans, we remain understandably skeptical. Until he makes the Pro Bowl in consecutive years, he ain't nothing. At any moment, he could devolve into an inept t-rex whose main job is serving as a revolving door for hungry pass rushers. For what it's worth, I realize his arms aren't exceptionally short, but he will always be a t-rex in my mind.